Four artists vie to replace stolen Barbara Hepworth sculpture (but no metal allowed)

Two Forms (Divided Circle) was cut from its plinth by suspected scrap metal thieves last year
  • @MrNickClark

Just over a year after a Barbara Hepworth sculpture was stolen from a London park by suspected scrap metal thieves, four artists have been named in the running for a new commission to take its place. The main stipulation? It cannot be made out of metal.

Visitors to Dulwich Park were left devastated after the bronze masterpiece Two Forms (Divided Circle) was cut from its plinth and removed in December 2011. It had followed a series of other metal thefts in the capital.

In the wake of the theft, Southwark Council and Dulwich community groups set up a steering group to commission a new artwork for the park.

Yesterday, the shortlist was named. Turner Prize nominee Anya Galaccio and Ryan Gander, who won the Zurich Art Prize were named alongside Conrad Shawcross and Eva Rothschild.

The process is being run by advisory body the Contemporary Art Society. The shortlisted artists now have three months to develop their design, which will be followed by a public consultation on the eventual work chosen.

Helen Nisbet, art consultant at the Contemporary Art Society, said: “The brief for the shortlisted artists was the work must be permanent, so the material has to be durable, but it shouldn’t be made out of metal.”

She continued: “There are still fears around public art work and we don’t want it stolen,” adding there was a small budget for extra security.

Following the theft of the Hepworth sculpture, which had been in the park since 1970, Southwark Council moved to improve security around its outside artworks, most notably the Henry Moore sculpture on the Brandon Estate.